Spotify CEO Daniel Ek admitted the company’s policy on hate speech, which removed some music by particular artists from playlists on the streaming service, may have been a mistake.
The “hateful conduct” policy put forth by the company was the reasoning behind artists such as R. Kelly and XXXTentacion having their music removed from the platform on May 10.
“We rolled this out wrong and could have done a much better job,” Ek said at the Code Conference keynote Q&A on Wednesday. “The whole goal with this was to make sure that we didn’t have hate speech. It was never about punishing one individual artist or even naming one individual artist.”
The policy states that the company won’t censor an artist because of their behavior. However, Spotify might change the way they “work with or support” an artist if that person does something especially “harmful or hateful.”
The policy is controversial, with critics such as representatives of Kendrick Lamar threatening to pull the rapper’s music over the policy.
Ek added that the policy was “too ambiguous and open to interpretation,” according to a report by Variety.
XXXTentacion saw a huge decrease in streams after the policy was put into effect, and it was estimated that he could have lost $60,000 a year if his streams kept decreasing consistently. However, R. Kelly’s streams were not affected by the ban, according to The Fader.